State pension age is rising – and the way it increases has changed

4 mins read

It is natural for people to want to know when they will finish work and embark on years of relaxation in retirement. The state pension age is currently 66 in the UK for both men and women, but this is set to change.

This review will be based around the idea that people should be able to spend a certain proportion of their adult life drawing a state pension.

Back in 2013, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the Government believes future generations should spend up to a third of their adult life in retirement.

This principle would imply that state pension age should rise to 68 by the mid-2030s, and 69 by the late 2040s.

However, the Government is not currently legislating for this change, with these dates merely showing a general direction which the state pension age could go in over the coming years.

Various factors will be taken into account when reviewing the state pension age, such as life expectancy in the UK.

After a review has been carried out, the Government may then choose to bring forward changes to the state pension age. Any proposals to do so would have to go through Parliament before becoming law.

The Government is not currently planning to revise the existing timetables for the equalisation of state pension age to 65 for both men and women, or the rise in the state pension age to 66 or 67.

However, it is possible the timetable for the increase in the state pension age from 67 to 68 could change as a result of a review.

Changes to women’s state pension age

Under the Pensions Act 2011, women’s state pension age increased more quickly to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018, as part of the reforms which meant the state pension age for women would become the same as men, rather than 60 and 65 respectively.

From December 2018 the state pension age for both men and women began to increase to 66, reaching this by October 2020.

There has been much debate over the increase to women’s state pension age, as many people believe this process was mishandled, leaving women in a precarious position as their retirement plans were upended.

A Department fo rWork and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson previously said: “The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.

“Raising state pension age in line with life expectancy changes has been the policy of successive administrations over many years.”

For those interested, the Government website provides plenty of additional information about claiming the state pension and how people can get a state pension statement.

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